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Collective Bargaining Case Study (the Final Offer Movie )

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The film “Final Offer” is a movie which talks about the main negotiator, Mr. Bob White, who is the director of the Union of Auto Workers in Canada. He is portrayed as he maintains his stand of demanding the increased benefits of General Motor Workers.

The Bargaining Structure

As we know bargaining structure is huge concept which actually means the group of employees and the employer who are involved in the collective agreement, but they are affected by the terms and conditions of the given collective agreement. In this movie, the structure of bargaining that has been used is composite. In contrast to other bargaining structures, this structure of bargaining is decentralized because of the involvement of large numbers of bargaining levels. The main levels in this kind of bargaining structure consists of the product sector level, the provincial product level, and the workplace which mainly includes the lower level workers or labour of the organization

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The bargaining structure in this movie “The Final Offer” includes:

  • Mr. White, who is the director of Union Auto Workers in Canada. He represents the interests, needs, wants of the auto workers from Canada.
  • Mr. Smith, who is the chairperson of the General Motors, deals with the top-level management and performs the duties or services for the interest of the organization at the top-level Management.
  • Mr. Owen, the Union Boss, who is actually in a kind of situation where we can expect him to join hands with Mr. White because they are having the same interest in the perspective of union.
  • Mr. Andrew, who is the chief negotiator for the general Motor in Canada.

Collective Bargaining

The method of bargaining present in this movie is the method of collective bargaining. In this method of collective bargaining, the negotiation takes place between and some employees in which they bring issues arise between the organization and its workers which concerns them. As we know employer always have a committee which will do the negotiation on his behalf or the behalf of the organization. In this collective bargaining, employers depend on the union to represent their concerning interests before the employers committee. Union always have their representative who will represent the union as a whole. In this movie, same happens, the union sends a representative to represent them during the bargaining process, The most common issue that was represented in the collective bargaining is the safety of the employees, laying off the employees and the allowances which actually belongs to the employees. In this movie, most of the employees do not have the protective clothes to wear while they are doing their work whereas they are required to have the protective garments during their work according to the current labour laws. Mr. Danny who is shown in this movie that he do not have proper clothing that can protect him from the injuries that might can take place during his work. It is also visible that the method of negotiation is quite different from the todays modern bargaining methods. In this movie, the employees are making their complaints to the manager of the Canada General Motors. Moreover, they are not even involving the Union for auto workers. Some of the employees also have rejected the proposal od doing work with the hourly wage which actually has been the tradition for many organizations from the very early days.

All the Key Stakeholders in This Deal

The kay stakeholders in this agreement which is shown in the movie includes Mr. Owen who is the president of the union. The president has the authority to put an end to the validity of rights of the General Motors worker to strike. The other stakeholders are the employees of the General Motors in Canada. The union of the auto worker’s is also a stakeholder in this bargaining process, and it is represented by Mr. White. General Motors is also a one of the stakeholders in the bargaining process, because its decision would directly affect the outcome of this deal. Me. Andrew, the representator of the organization, who is also the chief negotiator of the organization.

The Key Bargaining Issues for Each of the Stakeholders

The key bargaining issues for Mr. Smith who is the chairperson of the organization is that the company should adapt a profit-sharing wage scheme which is actually made up to force the employees to share the risk of economy with the management. The Chairperson, Mr. Smith also added to his statement that according to the policy he wants to function in the organization will enable the employees to get a huge bonus when the organization will make many sales which will eventually results in the large amount of profit whereas on the contrary the company will cut down their salaries if the company do not make many sales. The employees were against the proposal as they said that they cannot share their advantages with the organization For Mr. Andrew, who is the Chief bargainer for the organization. his critical bargaining issue was to sign and implementing the new contract in the organization. If the contract has been signed then this will bring to an end the hourly wage increase which is actually a sort of culture to the organization but in the contrary, it will give the surety to employees of their job security for the time they will be working in the organization. The main bargaining issue represented by Mr. Bob White who is the director of the Union of Auto workers is to increase the benefits of the workers. When the negotiation just has been started, Mr. White’s concern or recommendation has been opposed by both the chief negotiator of GM and the Chairperson of the organization but at the end Mr. Andrew agrees to bargaining issue which will put an end on the workers strike.

The Behavior of Bob White

The reason why Mr. Bob White did not share all the details of his discussions with the union president Mr. Owen and the representatives of the union of auto workers from Canada is that he did not want to answer any more questions and he want that no new question will arise from the president and the local representative. Mr. White was involved in other different meetings and he felt like that he should have some time to reflect and react towards the counteroffers that the other parties had bring for discussions before the table. He also felt that the president is not supporting him enough and he choose to not to provide any further information that would give his opponents the chance to support their arguments. The director of the union somehow believed that there is a local representative which will may support the unions opponents, making him to hide his information.

The Impact of Union Politics on This Dispute

As shown in the video, the politics created differences in the union and created fights within the union. As politics took place in the negotiation process, some of the members of the local committee insulted and accused Mr. White that he wants to work with the opponents of the committee that made him to betray his team. As this allegation was made on Mr. White then the confrontations took place in the union. As the politics took place in the negotiation, Mr. White got the information that Mr. Own is not supporting him and he is working against him in the background which made Mr. White to change his whole plan and act him like his friend so that the he can can the presidents support while the negotiation will take place.

The Negotiating Strategies of Bob White

Mr. Bob use both the deadline and the problem-solving strategy. The deadline strategy is the kind of strategy in which the main negotiator tells his opponents that he wants to everyone who is present in the negotiation or with whom they are negotiating would agrees to his wants and demands till this date otherwise there would be an adverse outcome. He also stated in the negotiation process that there would be a strike that will take place on seventeenth just to pressurize the chairperson to accept Mr. White’s requirements. The other strategy that he used was problem-solving strategy (Moore, 2014). In this strategy, Mr. White informs the union leadership of the United States to give the permission to administration and General Motors to come up with the solution that will be in the favour of the employees.

The Possible Outcome of Negotiation

If Mr. bob White was not the lead negotiator during the process of negotiation, then I don’t think that negotiation would be successful at all. The negotiation was successful because Mr. White has all the important characteristics which a good negotiator will have. As we clearly seen in this movie that Mr. Bob controls his temper so well during this whole process. Moreover, he is a good listener. Even though there were the times when there were anger arisen among the parties, but the chief negotiator made the environment friendly, he also gave equal opportunity to his opponents to represent their issue’s. The thing which actually made Mr. White the best negotiator is that he was fearless. He did not care about the threats and offers he got during the process of negotiation. He was faithful to his parties as all he wants in the result of negotiation is the benefits of the employees. he was very intelligent also. As ethics always play an immensely critical role in the negotiation, Mr. White was the man of his words and he was honest and an integrated person. He stood by the truth and all he wanted to just honestly fight for the interest of the workers.

References

  • Moore, C.W. (2014). The mediation process: Practical Strategies for resolving conflict. John Wiley & Sons
  • Steele, P. T., & Beasor, T. (2017). Business negotiation: A practical workbook. Routledge.
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYNwc0KuGTc
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